We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Kayla Thompkins a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Kayla, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. We’d love to hear about the things you feel your parents did right and how those things have impacted your career and life.
My parents kept my eyes open. Growing up, my parents did a great job exposing us to community and travel. Traveling to various cities, cruises, or attending events in our community created a well-rounded environment. As my sister and I grew up, we were able to respect different cultures and build awareness that people live differently than we do. This also snowballs into having empathy, open perspectives, and inspiration.
This impacted my journey and character in many ways. First of all, it inspired me to continue traveling, being versed in travel and experiences. This amplifies my ability to talk to people in real life and through marketing. In order to connect with individuals, you have to adjust to various perspectives.
It also gave me a creative drive. Seeing the murals of Miami, the performers of New York, and The waters of the Bahamas, all unlock creative inspiration for me. It’s a beautiful connection when you see how art moves the world. I want to be a part of the creative arts that make people feel seen.
Kayla, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
For the folks meeting me for the first time, I am a food and travel enthusiast and a social media strategist. Not only do I create content for my own platform, Interlaced Vibes, but I help business owners and creatives build on social media. The social media highways are overwhelming for many, especially business owners. I provide content strategy on how to reach their audience AND what best features to use as tools to get there. We don’t have to do everything to get to everyone.
In the past few years, I’ve helped over 30 businesses understand, show up and thrive on social media while staying authentic to their brand. I’m heavy on the talk TO your audience, not AT your audience. Building community is the golden key to success on social media. As I support business owners, they can thrive in their areas of expertise without feeling like they need to be an influencer, video editor, or actress with no privacy.
I have always enjoyed creating. It makes me feel good. I love to share my own food and travel experiences. As I mentioned, my love for travel began young and morphed into Hospitality and Tourism. I competed in Hospitality and Tourism Marketing International competitions. My earlier memory of being intrigued by marketing was reading Bath and Body Works product labels when I was bored. The way they described the juicy shower gels and invigorating lotions, sparked something inside me.
It ties everything up so well. I enjoy authentic words of persuasion via marketing copy, the vibes of adventure via travel, and the taste of comfort via delicious foods. Those are the vibes that sum me up and create Interlaced Vibes as a brand.
What’s been the best source of new clients for you?
The best source of clients for me has been my personality. Take it wherever you go! Being open and pleasant wherever I go has naturally turned strangers into clients. It has been social media accounts that I am genuinely content with, Business that I have reviewed, or my own personal care providers that have become clients. I build relationships first. What I do naturally comes up in conversation then I hear “OMG, I need that!”. It goes from there. With my online presence, I try to help and educate by sharing new ways to make social media features work for you rather than sell my services all day.
Building genuine relationships build stronger threads than handing out flyers. Engaging with people authentically builds interest and trust before I mention my creative services. Everywhere I go, I take my pleasant personality and smile with me because you never know who you can run into.
Is there something you think non-creatives will struggle to understand about your journey as a creative?
I believe non-creatives may not understand how vocal support really encourages creativity. I think people may assume we are self-motivating and ready to create every day. We are not. Half of the time, we are testing ideas created in our imagination worried if they will connect to anyone. If we don’t receive feedback, we think it failed. We, artists, are sensitive about our craft.
I may be speaking for myself but I’ve heard other creatives approve of this message. If you enjoy our content, our creations, – let us know. The fact of knowing helps fuel consistency. If we think a project failed by fact or feeling, we will go back to the drawing board. I’ve had several people tell me they love my content yet they never liked, shared it, or commented on it. So, at one point without the analytics or proof of support, I thought I wasn’t connecting with my audience. They were rocking it heavily, meanwhile, I was planning a rebrand. Hahaha.
So it becomes a two-fold situation.
Creatives, don’t stop creating. They see you.
Supporters, please applaud out loud when you love what you see. It feeds the creative process!
headshot by : Latoya Dixon Smith